coral reef diagnostics – Dr. Doolittle meets CSI on the reef
Posted by Robert Richmond | , United States
Mortality is a rather crude indicator of stress, but is still the major means of identify the downward trend of coral health on affected reefs. There are a variety of diagnostic tests applied to human health that can identify the specific cause(s) of illness, and responses to treatments. Proteomics, the study of protein expression and regulation, is an emerging discipline that can help address coral reef decline by 1) identifying the specific stressors affecting coral health on a particular reef, and 2) quantifying responses to management/mitigation activities in real time. Molecular tools allow us to "listen" to corals, and have the ability to guide the appropriate allocation of limited human, institutional and financial resources to insure a legacy of vital reefs for the future.